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Discussion Starter #1
We got our sweet Gretchen as a rescue when she was 7mos old. She was a project...hated my husband....do I see a pattern here! She's now 11 1/2 and has had severe arthritis, bone spurs and DM for about the last 3 years. She's been dragging her back feet and becoming more and more unstable. Three years of good food, supplements galore etc has slowed the progress. But, she went down completely in her back end today.

My vet took us right in and took x-rays and did a thorough check up on her. She has such severe arthritis in her spine that the x-ray doesn't even look like a spine...it's just a mess. Some bone spurs have moved around and she has a prolapsed (wrong word?) disc. She is not a surgery candidate and cannot do the cart because she is so weak in her front legs too. We finally had to give in and go the route of steroids and pain killers to try and make her comfortable and we'll see if she improves at all in the next few days. The look on her face is just devastating. She knows that something terrible is wrong. We're keeping her comfortable and using a towel sling to help her get around to pee. It's hard for her since she has so little strength in her front legs. She is Daddy's Little Girl and now just loves my husband. They are inseparable. This part of loving your dogs is so hard.
 

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I am so sorry Gretchen and your family is going through this, but we all know you will do what is best for her and take care of her in the best way possible. Gretchen knows that she is loved and happy you made her part of your family over 11 yrs ago.
Please keep us posted.
 

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Gretchen


My thoughts and prayers are with you and Gretchen. Having seniors is such a mixture of emotions. It's a blessing, knowing how precious their lives are to us and how fortunate we are to be able to share our lives with them. It's a celebration to be able to spend such wonderful times together over the years. Yet, it's also heartbreaking knowing that their time with us is never long enough.

Give Gretchen some hugs from the Hooligans and me!!!
 

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I can't read the post my friend,,,I tried and I feel your pain...I am so very very sorry....
Many many hugs for you and Gretchen
 

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I am very sorry to hear about Gretchen.

I had a friend with a gsd with DM named Jake. He outlived my Massie by 6 months. I used to go visit him every day because I missed the company of an old dog. I watched him going downhill and it was really, really hard watching him lose control of his back end.

Hugs to you, your husband, your Gretchen and the rest of your pack.
 

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so sorry to hear this. Many thoughts and prayers to you, your family and sweet Gretchen. She is a loved girl
Take care
 

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Oh Gretchen.


Snuggle up with your "project" (LOL, they always make the best dogs, don't they?) and eat some even better food tonight. Not the healthy stuff. The really yummy stuff.


Hoping that the steroids and pain pills do their magic. Your family is in my thoughts. Please keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all your kind words and good thoughts.

Here are some pictures of her....and her favorite thing...a stick to retrieve in the water!

AT THE LAKE:


IN FLORIDA, ON THE BEACH:
 

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Camp Pappy, my heart is sitting in my throat reading your every word about your dear sweet Gretchen. What great photos of your girl, or should I say "Daddys Little Girl" - how sweet


My heart goes out to you & a big <<<HUG>>> to Gretchen and your family. Hope she is feeling better and sending love to her.
 

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I am so very sorry...

Your husband must be devastated...

I do pray her sufferings can be minimized...

God bless you all!

Tanya
 

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Oh I am so sorry to hear about Gretchen suffering so - and you and your husband too. Love the picture of her in Florida.

Loving is so wonderful but so hard too.
 

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I am so sorry to hear about Gretchen. My Yogi had DM also and I know the pain that you are feeling. You gave her a wonderful life for all these years.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
We really did save her and she's had a WONDERFUL life. She was well on her way to being an aggressive GSD even when we got her at 7 mos. But with lots of socialization she's become just a great dog. She's never been a pushover!

My husband's son has two big male GSDs (Hooch and Duce). When they would come up and visit....as soon as they got out of the truck....Gretchen (at 70lbs) would pin them both to the ground and let them know who's boss! And yet she just LOVES "the boys". She is quite a charachter. Her best sport is playing with a deflated basketball. She wants you to kick it....stands right in front of you and watches your EYES! If was almost impossible to kick it past her...she just loved that game and has her canines worn down to nubs!

She hasn't played ball for many months now. Today was the first day EVER that she didn't go with daddy in the truck. He asked her and she just looked and layed down in the grass. How sad is that? I know hubby is crying as he drives away. She's walking a little today...unsteady...but up! She was up a lot last night..."talking"....wet her bed. I cleaned her up and layed with her a while. She loves being outside....so that's where she is now...with her bed and her water!

Thanks so much for listening.....it really helps to talk about what a great girl she is and how much we love her.
 

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It's heart-wrenching to read about the evening of a dog's life-but you have to understand how much warmth and joy comes through in your description of Gretchen and her family.

She's a lucky dog.

Mary Jane
 

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Ah, poor girl. It is so hard to watch them like this. My Massie (my first and heart dog) was so spunky. Even on the last day of her life she squeaked on a toy. She really couldn't move but she wanted to show us that her spirit was still there.

Sigh...my heart goes out to you.
 

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I am so sorry to hear about poor Gretchen. My first dog when I moved away from home was an ex-police Shepherd named Trooper. He was two and had been hit by two cars and shot in the hind quarters with buck shot. He lived to just before his eleventh birthday when I could not bear to watch him suffer anymore. He was never diagnosed with anything but arthritis, but I know in my heart that he had more going on that the vet didn't take time to diagnose.
I cry thinking about the pain they go through and we can only help them so little.
(((hugs))) to Gretchen and the family.
 

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Sorry to hear about this. Sending positive thought your way.
 

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Oh I should not have come in the senior forum.

This is just heart breaking and I am so sorry. Praying she improves enough to go with daddy for a little while yet.

My Max is a senior and soon to be facing this with him too. He cannot walk more than a block on concrete but still does okay on grass.
 
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